God is so good! We are truly blessed that so many people there in the States care for us and are praying for us. I have been dreading writing this prayer letter. Since our last letter, most of our state of Victoria has been on extreme lockdown. So many people here are scared to even speak to one another because of the Coronavirus. As far as the ministry has been going, we were just recently allowed to start meeting again, only allowing 20 people in a service and requiring us to have 4 square meters (yards) for each person. Like most of you, we have been putting sermons online and social media to communicate with our people. Soul winning has come to a complete stop for the last four months outside of a random meeting while shopping.
We were hoping to be in the States by now, but with travel restrictions, Australia is not allowing international travel until possibly next year. We would truly appreciate your prayers for a furlough next year; it will have been seven years since we have been home. I am so sorry that we are not able to come this year. I have had many churches contact us, wanting Laura and me to be with them. We believe that we were providentially hindered, but we will make every effort to see as many of you as we can next year.
Also during this time, our daughter Mary and her husband Caleb, along with my wife and me, suffered the loss of their son (our grandson), Hunter Elias Gonzales. He was stillborn at full-term on May 29; he had anencephaly, which was diagnosed early in her pregnancy. Mary has asked us to request prayer for them. They have been married 2½ years, and this was their first child. It is hard as a parent to see your children go through these trials and not be able to fix them, but it has brought us closer to the Lord and our position in Him. We would ask you to pray for Mary’s physical and emotional recovery and for the Lord to use this tragedy. Laura and I are looking forward to meeting our grandson in Heaven.
On a positive note, we were able to swear in as Australian citizens in March, just a day before total lockdown. Apparently, there is now a backlog of close to 100,000 waiting, according to their website. It was interesting to have only the three of us and one other family of Indian (India) descent. We were able to swear in on our own Bibles, and they even changed the process from swearing allegiance to the Queen of England to the people of Australia. So now, we are blessed to be citizens of three countries: Heaven with our Father, the United States with you all, and now Australia with the people God gave us. We feel so blessed of God. Please pray for people to open up to the Gospel and for our furlough.
Missionary in Australia